After reading some other blogs recently espousing the fun that can be had with some macro photography tools, I jumped on-board and ordered a few cheap accessories to have some fun. With just the basics, wandering around your back yard can open up many new opportunities in photography.
These were the first shots that I’ve taken with my basic setup. I ordered a $30 set of Meike Macro Extension tubes for my X-Pro2 and used with my 56mm f/1.2 or 18-135mm Fuji lenses. On the front the lens, I added a Raynox 150 macro lens that I had from previous dabbles in macro photography. To get the depth of field I needed, I had to stop down the lens to either f/16 or f/18. Due to the extremely small aperture, I attached a flash via a TTL cord to illuminate the subject and keep ISO down. All of these shots were handheld and the working distance was between 2 and 3 inches of the lens. It was challenging and I’m sure there are better setups for this, but for the minimal cost involving, I’m very happy with the results.
Once again it’s late August and my wife and I visit the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV for her to attend a work conference. I tag along and during the day, while she is busy attending meetings, I venture out to the surrounding area with a camera. Previous years, I’ve been to the Falls of Hills Creek and Sandstone Falls. This time I drive a bit further out to see the New River Gorge Bridge and drive the single lane road underneath it.
I arrived just after dawn and roamed around for a few hours waiting for the light and happily stomping around the river. Once I got the shots I wanted, I headed up to the trailhead parking lot for Long Point. This trail is almost 2 miles and heads to a beautiful rocky overlook of the bridge and surrounding area.
Other times during our stay, with my wife in the conference, I wandered around the grounds of the resort and happily snapped away at the historic structures. The kit I brought with me consisted of the X-Pro2, Rokinon 12mm, 23mm f/2, XF 18-55mm and XF 55-200mm along with a tripod and other small accessories. For walking around the grounds, I carried only the primes to keep weight down and force me into certain perspectives. Once again, the Fuji setup was a pleasure to use and produced some great images.
As the title suggests, I have never tried to seriously shoot any sort of Astro-photography before. Most times I’m outside at the time of night required, the skies were cloudy or the conditions weren’t right. While my family and I were camping this past weekend though, as we sat by the campfire and looked up, we saw nothing but stars. Once the girls went to bed, I ventured down to the lake near the campground we were staying at and brought a tripod and my remote shutter cord.
Down by the lake, at Laurel Hill State Park in Pennsylvania, there was almost no man-made light to be found nearby. The skies were clear and the stars were out in all their glory.
I had a bit of a learning curve, such as thinking I need a long exposure of a minute or more. What I forgot however, was that the Earth is spinning around 1,000mph and that ruins any long exposure shot of the sky. So I brought the shutter speed down to around 15-20 seconds by raising the ISO and opening the aperture. While I’m happy with what I got, I know there is much room for improvement. Next time I’ll be a bit more prepared.
Today my family and I explored the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. We had never been there and were pleasantly surprised at the many exhibits and hands on activities for kids. Seeing as there would be brightly colored birds, I had to bring a camera bag.
My X-Pro2 along with the 18-55, 55-200, 12mm and the 56mm came along. I ended up using the 55-200mm for most of the bird shooting, but the other lenses were used for various shots of the family and of the architecture. Thankfully, since the Fuji system is relatively small and light weight, the camera bag wasn’t too heavy at all.